Sometimes it slips from our minds that these well-composed albums exist. Some of us never even knew of their existence. MEF is to the rescue; these are the albums we recommend! In no particular order, of course.
Lianne La Havas, Blood, 2015.
Lianne La Havas’ Tiny Desk Concert at NPR. 2015.
For a lot of you, this may come as just an introduction. British star, Lianne La Havas released her second album in 2015. Hailing from London, she has had many deep influences on this album. Although you can hear many influences, the 10-track album includes just her silk-like voice and variations of guitars. Throughout the sonics of the album, she discovers different tempos. In this album, she shows us that she is not afraid to be vulnerable and raw. She experiences emotions that are unimaginable yet makes you feel empathy the second you hear her voice. La Havas’ received one Grammy-nomination for this project, making just her second album the most critically acclaimed. If you had not one idea who this powerhouse, R&B/Soul queen was, then today is the day that you do. Check out her album, Blood, on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
Kendrick Lamar’s, Untitled. Unmastered., 2016.
Kendrick Lamar performing “untitled 08 // 09.06.14” on the Late Night Show.
This is an album that came to its birth through high-demand. After three live performances, fans took to social media to ask for a compilation of songs they believed were to be on To Pimp A Butterfly. As a result, on March 4th, 2016, the 8-track album was released. Since then, it seems like albums with high demand struggle to remain relevant. Even when it comes to Kendrick Lamar. This body of work really highlights what it felt like for Kendrick to make To Pimp A Butterfly. It shows his insecurities about the album, it shows his highs and lows and all the directions he wanted to take. This project should be treated with more respect due to its willingness to reveal what it is to make such a political project in a time of vulnerability.
Blonde, Frank Ocean, 2016.
If you’re a diehard fan, this may most likely come as a shocker. But then again, due to its high-demand, the primetime of this album slowly plummeted. The reason being? The world may never know. With a meta-critic score of 87, Frank shows us that patience is what creatives need to consume themselves of. Great art is not always immediate, and in fact, most times it isn’t. This body of work is very distinctive of the saying “quality over quantity.” We get to see a more experimental Frank, and that is a Frank we shouldn’t forget.
NxWorries, Yes Lawd!, 2016.
Perhaps, another introduction? NxWorries is a crossover collaboration group between rapper/singer Anderson.Paak and producer, Knxledge. When the two come together they create neo-soul greatness. The sonics they create is often referred to as the next level of Hip-Hop, as a result, their sound is much like what we hope to see music develop into. Due to their ability to include both live instrumentals and technical ones, they also bring in a sense of familiarity. If you’re looking into live instrumentals that loop, this is the album for you.
4, Beyoncé, 2011.
It’s not often a Beyoncé album is forgotten. But with a discography so broad, some gems are ought to be forgotten unintentionally. 4 marked Beyoncé as a legend in the making, due to her flawless effort to really distinct where her voice stands on songs like “Love On Top” and ” Best Thing I Never Had.” You can tell that many of these tracks come straight from her heart, and as a result, she delivered a classic. It’s easy to say that Beyoncé (self-titled) and Lemonade, overshadowed this album which is why people often overlook it. But nonetheless, this is an album that we should remember because if it were not for 4, there would be no self-titled or Lemonade.
Any albums that slip your memory from time to time? Let us know in the comments below!